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Leonarth [Posts: 12]
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  • [July 16, 2018, 04:14:58 AM]
Hello, everyone.
I have been romhacking for quite a while now, but I just recently took interest in hacking FFTA, about two or three weeks ago.
FFTA was a game I played a ton as a kid so I have affection for it, I was susprised to find out there isn't much for it in the way of tools, though the AIO editor is pretty cool.

I have been poking at the game with an edited version of Event Assembler that a friend from the Fire Emblem hacking community put together and the old trusty debugger that totally never crashes for no reason: making adding text easy, documenting event opcodes and making EA raws for them to make event editing a breeze, taking notes on tables and structures...

Today I finished making a script to turn Tiled .tmx files into insertable maps.
(the bush going over the characters took me a while to get right, in fact it took 4 of the 5 days...)

I don't think any of the tools are ready to be shared yet, but I figured I would share a video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvEi2GKnPUc


And here you can check what the maps are like in Tiled:


I still haven't found a good solution for making height maps so for now I make them by hand, if you guys have any ideas please let me know.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 07:19:53 PM by Leonarth »
    • Modding version: Other/Unknown
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    bcrobert [Posts: 219]
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    • [July 21, 2018, 05:37:48 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #1 on: July 21, 2018, 05:37:48 AM »
    Looks cool! On the topic of height maps, Advance Map faced a similar problem. Pokemon games have tiles with assigned values to mean things like surfable, not passable, etc. The program therefore has a separate tab just for editing those values, which in this case would be height, in which the tiles are displayed as a visual aid for the modder.

    Of course I know that making something like that for an isometric game offers some more challenges but...closest thing that came to mind. Good luck!

    My FFTA hacking tools: http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=9559.0

    Believe it or not, I'm still working on this game.
    dck [Posts: 67]
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    • [July 21, 2018, 01:37:13 PM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #2 on: July 21, 2018, 01:37:13 PM »
    This is really interesting, I didn't think anyone was working on ffta like this and it covers an area nobody to my knowledge has gone into before- with the exception of tret handling.

    It's inspiring to see development like this tbh, FFTA is a very dear game to me and modifying it on this level would open for a lot of really neat choices.
    Can't lie, this actually got me to work on my own hack for a lot longer today than I otherwise would haha.
    Leonarth [Posts: 12]
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    • [July 21, 2018, 03:40:06 PM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #3 on: July 21, 2018, 03:40:06 PM »
    Thanks for the comments!

    I have tried making isometric maps in tiled but I haven't found a good way to place the map as an image below the isometric grid, I might end up trying to make a custom tool for it, though I would first need to learn how.

    Right now I'm working on fixing monsters in the party, after that I will start making the cutscenes for this map.
    I figured I would post an update, this is how the map looks now:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ_HkZa6eRo
    dck [Posts: 67]
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    • [July 21, 2018, 04:46:16 PM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #4 on: July 21, 2018, 04:46:16 PM »
    Pretty neat, vanilla doesn't make much use of narrow passages or strong defensive positions in maps, other than in one or two examples, so even that custom map is already looking quite promising in comparison.

    Party monsters and monster making in general are things I'm personally more familiar with, so if you need help with that feel free to bring it up.
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    bcrobert [Posts: 219]
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    • [July 26, 2018, 06:34:16 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 06:34:16 AM »
    In addition to the bottleneck, I also like how the grassy plains terrain can transition into a section without vegetation. Too many maps in vanilla are like, "Um...haven't I been here before?"

    Any progress in map editing is huge because there are very few maps in FFTA that offer any strategic challenges.

    My FFTA hacking tools: http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=9559.0

    Believe it or not, I'm still working on this game.
    Leonarth [Posts: 12]
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    • [August 01, 2018, 07:09:53 PM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #6 on: August 01, 2018, 07:09:53 PM »
    I haven't shown anything in a while so I figured I would post what I'm up to right now:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyHJLTTup5k


    I have been working on making custom party sprites and portraits work, as well as making completely new jobs.
    (Well, new to tactics advance, I'm pretty sure anybody reading this would know where that gria is from)

    I wanted to make events for the map but I got sidetracked.

    Party sprites and portraits use pretty weird formats which probably explains why I haven't been able to find anybody that had done much with them, I modified the routines in order to add the possibility of loading uncompressed graphics for both of those things, as well as making assigning them to jobs and characters easier.

    Blunderpusse [Posts: 20]
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    • [August 01, 2018, 07:37:37 PM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #7 on: August 01, 2018, 07:37:37 PM »
    The progress you're showing restores all my faith in Humanity. And seeing that you've been able to put a gria sprite in FFTA, makes me wanna learn spriting so I can make my own custom sprites (and share them, obviously XD).

    • Modding version: Other/Unknown
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    _Sephiran_ [Posts: 22]
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    • [August 02, 2018, 05:31:26 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #8 on: August 02, 2018, 05:31:26 AM »
    [...]

    Party sprites and portraits use pretty weird formats which probably explains why I haven't been able to find anybody that had done much with them, I modified the routines in order to add the possibility of loading uncompressed graphics for both of those things, as well as making assigning them to jobs and characters easier.



    Woah, nice!
    Could you please explain, how and where you modified the routines?
    With that, playable Llednar would be complete: FFTA: Llednar as playable character - Problems & questions
    Leonarth [Posts: 12]
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    • [August 02, 2018, 08:38:26 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #9 on: August 02, 2018, 08:38:26 AM »
    You can find the source for my ASM here, as well as instructions on how to apply it.

    Since I'm using Event Assembler for everything it might be hard to deal with for people that aren't using it though.
    The initial installation shouldn't be a problem, but dealing with the tables without EA sounds like a pain, maybe you can use the .nmm modules by changing the offset or something, I haven't used nightmare in years so I wouldn't know.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/cmvqbril78938t9/ffta%20party%20sprites%20and%20portraits.rar?dl=0
    _Sephiran_ [Posts: 22]
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    • [August 02, 2018, 10:46:51 PM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #10 on: August 02, 2018, 10:46:51 PM »
    Thank you, this is very useful!
    Not long until playable Llednar is complete. :D
    Adding / changing new sprites and portraits is interesting, too.
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    bcrobert [Posts: 219]
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    • [August 05, 2018, 12:41:25 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #11 on: August 05, 2018, 12:41:25 AM »
    Changing the loading routine is a bold fix. I like it. There was a time when I toyed with the idea of removing races and race-based mechanics. Which of course would mandate all human sprites.

    But yeah the awkward formats were...blech. I've had limited free time so I just gave up on that idea at the time. :p

    My FFTA hacking tools: http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=9559.0

    Believe it or not, I'm still working on this game.
    Leonarth [Posts: 12]
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    • [August 05, 2018, 03:40:05 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #12 on: August 05, 2018, 03:40:05 AM »
    Today I got sidetracked yet again:


    This is what I have been working on today, I noticed that JP is stored as a short, I never liked judges or combos so I went ahead and:
    • Removed combos and totemas
    • Made JP go up to 3 digits in every screen
    • Made all abilities always show up, regardless of if you have the weapon equipped
    • Made the A button bring up this popup instead of closing the ability menu (there's a different message if you don't have enough JP, and no message shows up if you have mastered the ability)

    Things that I still need to do for this to be complete include:
    • Stopping the player from being able to teach the unit abilities for jobs they can't change to
    • Make the actual learning part when you select yes (although that's halfway done already)
    • Make a new way to gain JP (I was thinking units would gain JP equal to 20% of the exp they get for an action)
    • Stopping this menu from working during battles
    • Updating the graphics for the menu when an ability is learnt
    • Turn Combo abilities into Movement abilities
    • And probably other stuff I'm not remembering right now
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    bcrobert [Posts: 219]
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    • [August 05, 2018, 09:30:54 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #13 on: August 05, 2018, 09:30:54 AM »
    On the note of movement abilities: I seem to remember the boots having "abilities" assigned to them that are unlearnable and hidden. Those might actually be fully coded movement abilities that were already buried in the ROM. I never looked into it though.

    My FFTA hacking tools: http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=9559.0

    Believe it or not, I'm still working on this game.
    dck [Posts: 67]
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    • [August 05, 2018, 04:19:14 PM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #14 on: August 05, 2018, 04:19:14 PM »
    That wasn't exactly the case. Boots with innate movement/standing type overrides break when they have their skillsets manipulated in AiO, but to me that doesnt translate to them having any remnants of movement abilities- just that AiO doesn't account for the override information being there to begin with.

    Getting sidetracked to expand on cool ideas like this sounds perfectly to me btw. Bear in mind the Descent ability slot by itself points at the totemas though.

    I am only now realizing, in practice the 3 effects per ability isn't as real a complexity cap as I thought because one could just use Descent-like functions to have a certain slot call from a pool of multiple abilities.
    That's annoying and probably going to get me to redo multiple abilities, aaa
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    bcrobert [Posts: 219]
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    • [August 06, 2018, 03:49:17 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #15 on: August 06, 2018, 03:49:17 AM »
    Three? Four effects per ability. And instead of gambling abilities, why not look at an ability like Bad Breath? It actually has more than four effects. It only has "one" effect in the structure because each value essentially points to the ID value of a subroutine.

    EDIT. Well technically it points to a structure that eventually points to subroutines. Can you tell I'm a little rusty? Haven't reviewed my notes in years. :p

    The only use I ever found for effects like Descent or Friend was to effectively shove all of the Gadgeteer's crap skills into one big gamble skill lol.

    My FFTA hacking tools: http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=9559.0

    Believe it or not, I'm still working on this game.
    dck [Posts: 67]
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    • [August 06, 2018, 07:24:01 PM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #16 on: August 06, 2018, 07:24:01 PM »
    There actually is no fourth effect available, that's just a misinterpretation of the structure. It could be it's dummied out in the general routine, or it could be it's actually related to JP gain on kill like TFergusson suggests in his mechanics in-depth look. However you look at it though- nothing on that slot is ever actually run; so without changing that, all abilities are fixed to using 3 effect slots at most.

    The bad breath idea is pretty cool though, I'd rather not derail further but I'll look int it for sure. Just figured I'd mention since I think all public structures for abilities show that "fourth" slot as being functional, AiO included.
    Leonarth [Posts: 12]
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    • [August 07, 2018, 12:40:43 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #17 on: August 07, 2018, 12:40:43 AM »

    It still needs some polish but currently learning works and the first movement ability is complete, including a replacement for the Combo icon made by a friend.

    Units can also earn JP to spend on abilities by just earning EXP, with a 1 to 1 ratio.
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    bcrobert [Posts: 219]
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    • [August 07, 2018, 03:33:44 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #18 on: August 07, 2018, 03:33:44 AM »
    @dck; Well damn. I'm glad you told me that before I got back into FFTA lol.

    @Leonarth; I noticed the features you're working on seem to be thematically linked to porting FFT's mechanics forward. A version of FFTA that borrows more from its famous roots might be interesting.

    EDIT. Actually I just realized the gria is obviously new. This could ultimately lead to a version with the best elements of all three games. The TRPG of my wet dreams is getting so close to being a reality. :p

    My FFTA hacking tools: http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=9559.0

    Believe it or not, I'm still working on this game.
    Leonarth [Posts: 12]
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    • [August 07, 2018, 03:46:54 AM]
    Re: My progress in FFTA hacking (map, events and text editing mostly)
    « Reply #19 on: August 07, 2018, 03:46:54 AM »
    I never liked combos or totemas, combos don't add much, movement abilities are a way better alternative in my opinion.

    The final goal with the JP learning is to have abilities be either learnt or not so that they only take one bit in the save data, this will give way more space for saving other things, meaning the limit of abilities by race (which is currently about 0x82 due to how the game saves the AP for the abilities) will be able to be increased to 0xFF, a different pool of JP for every job would potentially be possible, or other data like custom unit names could be saved.
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